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review 2018-02-22 19:02
The Christmas Promise - Donna VanLiere

The Christmas promise by Donna VanLiere
Love how each chapter starts out with words of wisdom from other famous people-touching!
Starts out with the past when she lost her son and husband within a few short weeks of one another.
Grace will prevail. Story then goes back a year and we find Gloria and she's been a widow for 7 years cleaning out a frigerator that one has dropped off in her driveway.
She cleans it out and then donaes it to another in town who is in need of one=she has contact with a church in town.
Love hearing of how things work in this town-it's a community effort.
She gets others in town to donate huge boxes of clothes to those in need and she loves that she's able to do this for others.
Love memory of Mt. St. Helens as we've visited there-new life all around.
Like hearing from the author herself about how this book and series came about. Books that help others, they reach out to you.
Love the characters and how they turn out during the Christmas stories. Promise of love and grace that makes Christmas.
From NLS for my BARD

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review 2018-02-22 18:57
The Christmas Town (Christmas Hope) - Donna VanLiere

The Christmas town by Donna VanLiere
This holiday read is about Lauren, she's lived a hard life with her mother in jail and then later in foster homes.
Now she's in her 20's and lives with another girl.
Story also follows Ben who's mentally challenged and he puts notes in grocery bags at the store. Very inspirational uplifting notes that he selects for everyone.
Ben's mother Stacy meets Lauren at the police station so they can point out who hit her car and left. After they stop at local bakery where they talk and Lauren tells her she works at the grocery store.
She has a suggestion for Gloria's Place-a local place for mothers, children and those in need. They love her suggestion and her help.
Love how the community takes care of the people in need.

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review 2018-02-09 20:20
Christmas at Tiffany's
Christmas at Tiffany's - Karen Swan

Trigger warning: Suicide


I dithered about giving this four stars, but honestly, the final third of the book fell apart a bit for me and I ended up giving this three stars. 


"Christmas at Tiffany's" has Cassie ready to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary with her husband Gil. Her school friends, Kelly, Anouk, and Suzy come to Scotland to celebrate with Cassie. Cassie feels out of step with her friends since she spends most of her days/nights alone while her husband works several hours away and she sees to their estate. When she goes to say hello to her best friend/neighbor she finds out that everything she thought was true about her marriage is a lie. Barely stopping to pack, Cassie flees and her three friends decide she will spend the next year living with them why she gets back on her feet.

Cassie's first stop will be New York with Kelly, then Paris with Anouk, and finally London with Suzy. 

So the book is broken up in essence in three main parts. I think my favorite has to be Cassie/Kelly in New York. That said, I still want to go to Paris the most after finishing this book. I think Swan did a great job showing Cassie still trying to find her feet and Kelly doing what she could to take care of her. Also, can I say that Cassie's friends kick ass? They all found her work to do and put her up for 4 months each. I love my friends, but I start getting antsy when they have been there past 3 days. 


I will say that at times I didn't like Cassie. She felt a bit too indecisive for me. She really was letting a lot of people walk all over her with her going that's just the way she is. I wanted to say, yes, you're a doormat. I wouldn't have minded so much, but it felt like she always needed someone to stand up for her whether it be her friends, or her friend's younger brother Henry. 

I also hard cringed about Cassie ruining Kelly's business. I felt that was hand-waved away honestly. Kelly obviously has some feelings about it, but it's not really discussed between them that much.


My least favorite part of the book was Paris. Yes I know I said I loved the city, and yes Swan makes it come alive. But she had some of the worst characters show up in the book during Cassie's months in Paris. I didn't like Anouk and thought a reveal came right out nowhere. I hated that a suicide was shown in a book tagged as holiday romance (I am so glad I did not read this around Christmas). And I felt like Cassie gave up on her dreams way too easily after Paris and there are some loose threads that I still don't know how they got resolved.

I was okay towards the London portion. Suzy is laidback and fun. I do think that this portion was more rushed than anything. We have Cassie finding out the truth some more about someone close to her and I went bah towards the whole thing. Sorry, the hero sucked (IMHO). 


I was meh about all of the love interests. I wish at the end of the year she went traveling somewhere else and or settled in a final location embarking on a new job. 


I did enjoy the writing though I think that Paris could have been edited down a bit. The flow was up and down the most in that section though it was really good in the New York and London bits. 

The settings were so well done. I now know why this book was over 500 pages long. Swan takes a very long time (happily) describing the in and outs of New York, Paris, and London. This book made me long to see Paris, though not to get involved with any man while there since the author shows the residents hard shrugging about affairs. Swan does a great job in all three settings also changing up Cassie a bit so that she gets a makeover that reflects the cities she is living in at that time. I did have to laugh though about Cassie going from blonde to brunette and back to blonde again.

The ending was okay, I just don't know how believable I found it to be. We have Cassie somewhat on her way to a happy ending and we get to check in with all of her friends and their husbands/partners too which I liked. I wish that Swan had just had all of the women back together catching up with each other without the men there, but it's fine. 

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review 2018-02-08 21:46
Good holiday read
Christmas Candy - Samantha Jacobey Christmas Candy - Samantha Jacobey

Christmas Candy by Samantha Jacobey is an entertaining Christmas story.  Ms. Jacobey has delivered a book that is full of realistic characters.  Some you love right away, some you don't like but they kind of grow on you.  Gary and Candy's story is packed with drama, bits of humor and spice.  I enjoyed reading Christmas Candy.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2018-02-06 18:04
Single, Female and Religious Calling?
And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life - Jane Christmas

Jane has been dating Colin in a long distance relationship (Canada and England) for awhile and he has finally proposed. This proposal comes at the same time that Jane has seen an advertisement for a religious order. She asks her fiancee to have patience with her as she goes on the retreat. While at the first convent she finds that she has found something that she needs and goes on a trek to a Catholic Monastery and Convent in England and then another Anglican Convent. The Catholic Convent says she is too old to become a nun and that her former marriages, children, and divorces keep her from being a nun and that she can never marry again if she wants to have a relationship with God. This attitude forces her to leave where she is staying early. It is at the Anglican convent that she again finds herself and helps her to forgive herself for something that happened to her long ago. 


I really enjoyed this story as it gave insight into religious and the government's attitude toward them and sometimes their attitude to others. 

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